One of the towering figures of American comedy, Albert Brooks began his career as the most celebrated stand-up since Woody Allen and Lenny Bruce, before embarking on a series of landmark comic films (including Real Life, Modern Romance and Lost in America) written, directed by and starring himself. But Brooks actually made his big-screen debut playing things (relatively) straight in Martin Scorsese’s 1976 Taxi Driver, and has remained in steady demand as an actor—from his Oscar-nominated turn in Broadcast News to his white-collar criminal in Out of Sight and his avuncular but cold-blooded gangster in the recent Drive (for which he was named Best Supporting Actor by the New York Film Critics Circle). We are delighted to welcome Brooks for a special night celebrating his work in front of other people’s cameras, featuring film clips, a career-spanning conversation with FSLC Associate Program Director Scott Foundas and a complete screening of Drive.
Drive | Nicolas Winding Refn | 2011 | USA | 100m
Nicolas Winding Refn’s already certified cult classic is a needle drop deep into the neon-noir groove of Walter Hill, William Friedkin and Michael Mann. Ryan Gosling stars as the nameless Hollywood stuntman/getaway driver who becomes an unwitting accomplice to a pawn-shop heist gone bloodily awry. Brooks, stealing every scene he’s in, is the Jewish mafioso bankrolling Gosling’s effort to become a stock-car racer. Punctuated by darkly funny explosions of violence and set to the infectious beat of a neo-“new wave” soundtrack, this singularly inventive postmodern genre movie reconfirms Refn as one of the most exciting young directors around…and Brooks as nothing less than a national treasure.